1. Your kids will turn out even if you’re not perfect.
For real. In fact, remember that your kids choices are not a reflection of your parenting skills. Those kids that once seemed so innocent, so small, so adorable , grow. And as they grow their personalities grow. And their will. And sometimes it doesn’t match with you — so sometimes they make choices that we do not like. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. Your kids are strong. Keep showing up, keep loving and remember it’s not about perfection. It’s about being there.
2. You must take care of you. No guilt, please.
I know this one. I ended up in the emergency room due to untreated iron-deficiency anemia last year (read here). I kept putting myself on the back burner. Over and over again until the day when my body was like “no way” and basically quit. You MUST take care of yourself and you MUST take care of yourself without guilt. Disrupt normal, live.
3. Trust your instincts.
Your gifted with instincts. Don’t listen to google, everyone else, what you think you should do. Sometimes that still small voice inside you is right.
Listen to it.
4. Feeling overwhelmed doesn’t make you a bad mom.
Overwhelm is simply an alert that tells you something needs to change. In my own life I struggled deeply with overwhelm and felt guilt as if I was not a good mom until a friend told me to slow down and breathe. Bad days don’t make you a bad mom and overwhelm doesn’t make you a bad mom. It’s just part of normal. You will get through.
5. Craving silence is normal.
There are days where I just want silence. Sometimes I wake up early in the morning and will sit at the table and just wait wait wait until the noise starts. I know the silence will end, but it’s okay that sometimes you need silence now. Headphones help. Music in them is optional.
6. The house will get messy, but it won’t stay that way.
Read this for more pro0f -> Now the windows stay clean. When my kids were little it felt as if I moved from one mess to another mess and then I started to think that my kids didn’t really care because if they did they wouldn’t make a mess. But the truth is this – they are kids. And kids make messes. In fact, messes are where they learn. But, now, if you’re like me and like things clean understand that the older they get the less mess. And there will be a day when it is not only quiet but not messy.
7. Problems happen. You’ll get through.
Problems are just a part of life. Teacher calls, sick kids, hardships. You are a strong person. I believe in you. And because I know that you have that strength, I also know you will get through. You know how I know? I have gone through poverty, through a bad divorce, through rebelling kids and I have come through – I have thrived and survived and flourished. If I can do it, you can do it.
8. Friends matter. Cultivate them.
Yesterday, my friend Amy called me. She’s been my friend for almost ten years. I hadn’t talked with her in a long time, but when we got on the phone it was like it had only been a day. She’s got my heart. Friends really really matter. Remember that comment about not feeling guilty about taking time for you? Taking time for you with your friends is equally just as important. It breathes life into your heart. In fact friendship is SO important that I share about the charge of friendship in my book The Brave Art of Motherhood.
9. When in doubt throw it out.
I purged 80% of my entire house when I moved from Minnesota to Tennessee last year. In that process I discovered how much I needed to let go of that I carried with me. I was honestly afraid to let things go. And then I thought of my philosophy regarding things in the fridge, which my kids no well, and it’s this -> when in doubt, throw it out. The same goes for your stuff, your obligations, all of it. Don’t cling to something just because you think you need to. You are worth more.
10. There is no perfect looking family.
This. My family isn’t the utopian looking family. I’m a single mom of seven, raising five kids on my own. My oldest two live in two different states. I work. I used to homeschool. My kids go to public school. My house is sometimes clean and sometimes messy. Sometimes I feel like I have it together and most times I don’t. I don’t look perfect, but you know what? I am happy. My kids are happy. Perfect doesn’t exist. Real does.
That’s what moms need to hear.
That’s what YOU need to hear.
I believe in you. You are doing AMAZING things every single day. Don’t doubt you.
I cleaned the sliding glass door by the kitchen last year after Christmas. It a a door your kids know well. It stayed clean until June played peek at Thanksgiving. I’m sure even sure if I want to wash it again. It looks more natural now. Love you!
Love you too, mom. 🙂